FCCC says IPC has not sought or received necessary approvals while IPC says all of that is false

FCCC says IPC has not sought or received necessary approvals while IPC says all of that is false

By Rashika Kumar
Saturday 02/12/2023
FCCC CEO Joel Abraham

The Fijian Competition and Consumer Commission says Infinite Power Clean Energy Pte Ltd has not sought or received necessary approvals and has blatantly disregarded due process while the company says they know exactly what the FCCC wants and how it works and it is false to say they have not done what they were supposed to do.

The FCCC says despite the Acting Prime Minister and Minister for Trade, Manoa Kamikamica's press conference on Thursday, they must clarify that IPC's project bypassed critical steps mandated by the Electricity Act 2017.

They say the Acting Prime Minister, under the provisions of the Electricity Act, particularly Section 29 which focuses on regulations for safe and reliable electricity supply, has a critical role in upholding regulatory integrity.

FCCC says their investigation has uncovered alarming facts where most notably, the Fiji Government's Cabinet has not endorsed this project, a fundamental requirement for ventures of this scale.

They say this omission not only bypasses ethical standards but also erodes public trust and alarmingly, the Power Purchase Agreement between the Ministry and IPC was executed without essential licensing or authorization, a direct contravention of the Electricity Act 2017.

ipc-with-rabuka-sm
IPC's CEO, Mr. Robert Beam and Local Director, Mr. Sitiveni Leseitoga, meets with the Fiji Prime Minister, Honourable Sitiveni Rabuka, to share the exciting new "Clean, Green Technologies" that are coming to Fiji. Photo:IPC

The FCCC says such actions cannot be overlooked as they threaten the legal and ethical framework within which they operate.

They say FCCC's commitment to renewable energy and environmental sustainability remains unwavering, however, compliance with procedural requirements is not optional but mandatory for all stakeholders.

The Commission says operating within the bounds of fairness, ethics, and the law is non-negotiable.

CEO Joel Abraham says adherence to due process and compliance with regulatory requirements are the bedrocks of ethical business operations and FCCC will ensure these standards are met without compromise.

Abraham says their dedication to Fiji's development, environmental sustainability, and the rule of law is unwavering.

He says as Fiji's independent regulator, they uphold their duty to oversee all electricity sector operators, ensuring fair and ethical practices and this includes the stringent licensing process for Independent Power Producers, a cornerstone in maintaining the sector's integrity.

Abraham says FCCC is resolute in its role as a guardian of transparency, accountability, and compliance in all sectors, especially those impacting Fiji's renewable energy and economic objectives.

IPC CEO Robert Beam says they met with the FCCC three weeks ago and last week and the Minister for Fisheries and Forestry presented their project to the cabinet more than two months ago and claims everything was approved through the cabinet.

ipc-with-rabuka-sm2
The IPC Energy Team is working closely with the Ministry of Fisheries and Forestry of Fiji on a major Wind Energy Project that will provide Infinite Power to many locations and Facilities around the Fiji Islands. Photo:IPC

In an interview with fijivillage News, Beam says they have been working on the project for the past 6 months and have met with the Prime Minister and everyone they were supposed to meet for the project.

He says everything was done correctly and they would not have signed the contract if the Office of the Solicitor General did not approve it.

The CEO claims nobody has approached him or his office to tell them what they did wrong.

Beam says they still want to go ahead with the project and work with the government.

Beam adds they are here to bring a $55 million investment to Fiji that does not cost the government anything upfront and they have the funds to do the project.

Meanwhile, the FCCC says investigations into the IPC project are active and they will collaborate with relevant authorities to guarantee adherence to proper procedures.

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